When the Aztec Cattle Company ( “ The Hashknife Outfit ” ) foremost got to northeast Arizona, they found knee-high grass every bit far as they could see. They moved cowss from Texas to Arizona and merely maintain conveying in more and more. They ran those cowss on about 2 million estates of land between Flagstaff and New Mexico. The cowss grazed the grass off and the drouth that had already started kept more grass from turning in. There was already really small H2O, so the cowss started deceasing off by the 1000s.
State that used to look like an ocean of grass turned into a dried out, air current lasted desert. During this same clip, the railwaies were being put in across the state and cowss were get downing to be shipped on trains. ( This meant higher transit costs when cowss monetary values were get downing to travel down. ) Some of the worst parts of Arizonas history was caused by the Hashknife Outfit and its cutthroat hired aid. Mormon colonists were harassed, robbed, and run out of the state. Cattle were stolen from the colonists and other spreads.
But the worst jobs from the Hashknife cowpuncher was had by the sheepmen and the towns people. Towns like Holbrook were the scenes of violent death, imbibing, whoring, and troublemaking. The sheepmen were harassed, their sheep killed, and sometimes got themselves killed. Section 2: The Search The Hashknife Outfit pioneered large-scale cowss ranching in Arizona ; but their overgrazing scarred the land, drouth and difficult winters killed the cowss, and their condemnable behaviour made its grade on Arizonas history.
The “ Hashknife trade name resembled a cookery utensil used by chuckwagon cooks to chop up meat and murphies for hash. The trade name was owned by the Aztec Land and Cattle Company and was used to trade name 1000s of cowss. Many cattle spreads came to be known by their trade names alternatively of by their company names because it was easier for people to retrieve why the Aztec Land and Cattle Company was called the “ Hashknife Outfit ” . “ The Hashknife Outfit was established in northern Arizona in 1884.
A stockholder in the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad persuaded a group of Eastern investors to purchase a million estates of croping land offered for sale by the railway. The new spread, alled the Aztec Land and Cattle Company, brought in 33,000 caput of Texas Longhorn Cattle, a big remuda ( herd of saddle broke Equus caballuss ) of Equus caballuss, and the Hashknife trade name ” ( Hughes xi ) . When the shareholders of the Aztec Land and Cattle Company were first meeting to organize the company, cowss monetary values were already headed downward.
Many people in the cowss concern already felt that most grazing scopes were overstocked. During this same clip, the railwaies were doing their manner across the state, and cowss were get downing to be shipped by train. This meant faster transit of the cowss, but was really expensive, ( it besides meant the cowss reached the feedyards in much poorer status ) , and cowss monetary values were acquiring weaker. The investors in the Aztec Land and Cattle Company didnt recognize that their investing in cattle ranching was on rickety land before they of all time started.
They merely went on in front and bought jumping subdivisions ( the railway owned every other subdivision in Arizona ) of land clear across northern Arizona from the New Mexico boundary line to Flagstaff . When the Hashknife Outfit foremost got to Arizona, they found knee-high grass as clear across the Colorado Plateau every bit far as they could see. Its impossible to believe that now, but back so it was like a prairie.
They brought in more and more and more cowss until they had about 2 million caput. The cowss grazed the grass off and the drouth that had already started kept the grass from of all time turning back ( Trimble 15 ) . By 1892 and 1893, there was barely any grass left and about no H2O. A Mormon historiographer, Joseph Fish, ( LDS Family History Center, Joseph City, Arizona ) said hat the cowss all around them were deceasing by the 1000s. Land that had foremost looked like an ocean of grass was looking like a dry, wind blasted desert.
In the winters the cowss starved to decease and died of thirst because there was more snow than usual. In that country, the air current ne’er stops blowing, so what wet could hold come from the snow to turn grass merely blew off. Most of the other ranchers were already selling out and traveling on, or transportation heir cowss to better countries like California.
The Hashknife Outfit was controlled by shareholders and railway people who didnt live in Arizona and they liked to transport the cowss by train ( expensive ) to Kansas to the feedlots. This caused the Aztec Land and Cattle Company to lose alot of money and even more cowss. Cattles monetary values were still falling ( because the “ Large 4 ” meat baggers, Armour, Swift, Morris, and Fowler, were repairing monetary values by over make fulling the meat market with their ain cowss ) , so the Aztec Land and
Cattle Company had to get down selling away land to pay for their disbursals and do up for the losingss ( Carlock n. p. ) . The over-grazing of the land and the drouth caused an even bigger job when the monsoon season rains eventually came. Their was no grass or coppice left to keep the dirt down, so the torrential rains and flash-flooding washed away 1000000s of dozenss of dirt and carved out deep, stat mis long, washes and ditches. This meant that the grass would ne’er turn once more in northern Arizona like it had been before the Hashknife Outfit showed up.
Because of the drouth, the inundations, the overgrazing, bad decision-making, cowss cattle thiefs, quarrels with criminals and sheriffs, and losing half their land because it wasnt surveyed right ( and the railway was traveling broke, so they couldnt give them more land or their money back ) , the Aztec Land and Cattle Company sold most of their cowss for less than they paid. In 1897, they shipped out 693 railway autos full of cowss from Holbrook 24,000 caput of cowss ( Carlock, neptunium ) . They so sold immense sums of land to the federal authorities to do U. S.
Forest Service national woods ( household verbal tradition yes, our household truly was at that place long plenty to state narratives about it down through the coevalss ) . The Hashknife Outfit spent most of 1898, 1899, and 1900 assemblage and merchandising off their cowss. By December of 1900, the Hashknife “ ground forces ” of cowpunchers, hired custodies, and cutthroats was down to merely 2. The company chiefly had to depend on their neighbours to assist them garner the leftovers ( last staying cowss ) this took another 2 or 3 twelvemonth s ( my mom–family verbal tradition ) .
In 1902, there was merely one adult male left as an employee of the spread. He was at that place merely as a caretaker for the last Equus caballuss and the belongings. All of the cowss had been sold off, and the Hashknife trade name was sold to the Babbitt Brothers Trading Company ( Tinsley, 135 ) . The Aztec Land and Cattle Company did still have much of the land and did non travel insolvent. Land gross revenues paid off their debts so and gross revenues plus croping rentals have kept them in money of all time since. Some of Arizonas most “ colourful ” historic events were centered around the Hashknife Outfit and its lawless hired aid.
Aside from some written memoranda and files, preserved by the Atlantic and Pacific Railway Company, the historical events that took topographic point in the decennary of the 1880s in northern Arizona were barely documented. Because the land was so huge, it sometimes took yearss for information to make the colonies, and some intelligence was ne’er reported non even tardily ” ( Durham 261-263 ) . A batch of the more good known occurrences took topographic point on or near or at the custodies of the Hashknife Outfit.
Mormon colonists came in and homesteaded land, but they didnt bother the spreads in any other manner. They merely worked the land, but the cowpunchers and ranchers thought they were in the manner. A batch of Mormon households tell narratives of when their ascendants were attacked or hurt or burned out by Hashknife cowpunchers. Most of the cowss rustling was done by little clip stealers stealing from the Hashknife, but the cutthroats who were hired guns for the Hashknife did their portion of larceny, excessively.
Through these tough characters, the Hashknife gained power and control of the country by size and Numberss. Many narratives ( verbal household traditions of Arizona families- -like mine that have been in Arizona since many old ages before the railwaies or Hashknife ) are told by people in northern Arizona whose households have been there since the railway of the things done to people by the Hashknife cowpunchers. One narrative is about 3 guiltless work forces who were hanged merely outside the present town of Heber. One was a Equus caballus bargainer who had household back East with money.
When things werent traveling good with the Equus caballuss, the household sent the cat money. Rumors started that he was stealing and selling other peoples Equus caballuss. He was besides ever really nice to allow people stay in his place when they were on the route. Some of the criminal that worked for the Hashknife were said to take things into their ain custodies and hung the Equus caballus bargainer and two travellers who were sing in his place. No 1 of all time stood test for the hangings ( Durham 261-262 ) .
Another thing that happened, that didnt start as anything to make with the Hashknife, but shortly was made worse by the criminal, is known as “ The Pleasant Valley War. ” Pleasant Valley is largely all South of the land owned by the Aztec Land and Cattle Company, but it was close plenty for them to go involved. A cattle rancher named “ Stinson ” was losing alot of cowss to some cattle thiefs named “ Graham ” whod been siting for him, and to some sheepmen named “ Tewksbury ” who were besides hired by him and stealing his cowss.
Even though the rancher tried to hold them all hung, no tribunal of all time found any of them guilty. The Grahams started running cowss on their ain topographic point, and merely of course hated heepmen. Like most cattle people those yearss, they felt that the sheep work forces and their fencings, and the manner the sheep overgraze the grass, were why cattle werent making really good. For a piece, sheepmen actuall made more money than the cattle work forces, and that truly made alot of people ( most were cow mans originally from Texas where sheepmen had already gotten in their manner ) really angry.
The criminal and problem shapers who worked for the Hashknife Outfit, a cowss operation, usuall did everything they could to maintain colonists and particularly sheep people rom traversing Aztec Company land. A batch of old narratives are told there about flocks of sheep being driven into the river and drowned, or herds of Equus caballuss being stampeded over the top of them. While the Hashknife cowpunchers were doing all this problem, the Grahams and the Tewksburys were doing more problem for Stinson, who had had his fill of all of them, excessively.
A error was made by one of the Tewksburys, who apologized to Stinson, and one of Stinsons hired work forces used the alibi to get down problem. In self-defence, the Tewksbury dult male shooting at the hired manus and hit him in the leg. The hired manus rode straight over to the Grahams and told them hed been attacked ( That was the first shooting of the Pleasant Valley War. ) ( Carlock n. p. ) . The Tewksbury was sent to Prescott for test, but died before the hearing. The Tewksburys blamed his decease on the Grahams.